Germany release Lahm, Khedira and Ozil

BERLIN - Germany will be without three key players when they take on Australia in a friendly match on Tuesday, with captain Philipp Lahm and midfielders Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil ruled out due to a heavy club schedule.

The German football federation (DFB) said on Sunday that Real Madrid's Ozil and Khedira were never going to play in the friendly after coach Joachim Low agreed with Real coach Jose Mourinho to release them after the Euro 2012 qualifier against Kazakhstan on Saturday.

Ozil set up two of Germany's goals on Saturday as they cruised to a 4-0 win over Kazakhstan.

"Lahm will also not take part. The 27-year-old has also played numerous games lately for his club," the DFB said in a statement.

Germany top Euro 2012 qualifying Group A with maximum points from five games.